Our Family’s Tradition has been hung with care since the 1930′s

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. . . and for as long as my mother can remember (and she’s 89 years old!) and her sister can remember (and she’s 82 years old!) Popeye has only had one leg!! Funny, he kept his pipe, but not his leg!

My mother grew up in Hilo, Hawaii, and these were part of their Christmas decorations when she was a child. My aunt remembers them and my uncle remembers them. . . . and I have them!!

Growing up, our Christmas celebrations in Hawaii, on Guam and then in California always included these.  Each one of us, my parents, my brother, my sister and I, got to chose the ornament we wanted to hang.  We’d rotate years, so one year, every  five years, we’d get first pick!  Invariably, my sister and I would fight over Little Orphan Annie.  Nobody wanted one legged Popeye!  I don’t remember who would hang the remaining ornament, after all that was decades ago!!

one legged, pipe smoking, tattooed Popeye

one legged, pipe smoking, tattooed Popeye

As the children left home, and celebrations at my parents’ home got less elaborate, the ornaments were finally mine!  My children, then my grandchildren looked for them every year and wanted to put them on the tree, and so the tradition continued.  Four generations, enjoying the beat-up wooden ornaments.

This year they will hang from the arms on the light over my dining room table.  They’ve been there before and I enjoy seeing them as I eat my breakfast.

. . . in a few years, I’m not ready to let them go quite yet, they’ll be passed on to one of my children so they can continue the tradition of

. . . the old, beat-up, wooden cartoon ornaments.

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